Quail Ridge Books opened last week in a temporary space at North Hills while the popular bookstore’s permanent home is being designed and built.
The store is currently in a storefront next to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, but it plans to open June 1 in the Lassiter District of North Hills – home of the Total Wine store. It will take over space currently used by Traditions by Anna Bridal Boutique and the Whalebone Urban Surf Shop.
But first, there’s a construction project in the works. The initial plan was to move into the permanent space as it was, but architects discovered the potential to build a second floor.
The additional floor will give Quail Ridge Books about 9,000 square feet of space, matching its space at its previous location in the Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue.
The store left Ridgewood because the owner could not reach a lease agreement with the landlord.
“It’s going to be an absolutely gorgeous store,” general manager Sarah Goddin said of the new location. “We are doing a lot to change the space.”
Customers can look forward to some “wow factor” surprises, Goddin said. The children’s department will be a major focus in the new store with a fun, whimsical design.
Owner Lisa Poole has invested a lot of money, energy and creativity in the new store, Goddin said.
“It’s been exciting to be in North Hills,” she added. “I like it much better than I even anticipated. It’s a vibrant place with lots of families and more kids. ... It’s fun having new people discover us. The challenge is helping our old customers find us.”
Quail Ridge Books first opened in the Quail Corners shopping center on Falls of Neuse Road in 1984.
The store regularly hosts local and big-name authors as well as television personalities and political figures, including President Jimmy Carter. There are about 250 author events a year, and they are being held off-site while the store is in transition.
Goddin, who has been with Quail Ridge for 20 years, said moving a bookstore twice in such a short period of time has been “completely insane.” The temporary space is a third of the size the store needs, and a lot of merchandise was moved into storage.
“It’s a lot of moving parts and pieces,” she said. “The staff has been amazing, and everybody pitched in and did things they hadn’t done before. It bonded us in some ways because it’s such a big project.”
Many loyal costumers followed Quail Ridge to North Hills, including Patty Aker and her 14-year-old daughter, Isabelle, who were browsing the store Friday.
Aker said her family goes to Quail Ridge often and likes to buy books as gifts. Isabelle said she always knows when her gift is from Quail Ridge because of the store’s signature frog wrapping paper.
“It’s nice to curl up with a physical book that’s not blinking at you or needs to be charged,” she said.
The move didn’t affect Aker much because the Ridgewood location was close to where she works and the new space is close to her home.
“It’s one of the last independent bookstores around,” Aker said. “We come all the time for the hometown feel, and sometimes they have books other people don’t carry.”
Knopf: 919-829-8955, @tayknopf